Disease and Emergencies

On this page you can read about diseases or see what to do in case of an emergency.


Here you can find articles written by our vets about a variety of diseases. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please contact us so we can try to sort you out with an answer. You can also reach us through Facebook. If you need an immediate answer to a question related to the health of your horse, please give us a call to speak to us directly. 

Also check out our seminars to learn more about horses and healthcare. 



If you have an emergency, please contact us. 

Manawatu: We share our after-hours services with Equivets (as part of Sourthern Rangitikei Vets)


Possible signs:

  • dull/not interacting with surroundings/slow
  • reduced appetite
  • Flehmen (upper lip pulled up)
  • excessive yawning
  • flank watching
  • standing in an abnormal position
  • pawing
  • sweating
  • kicking towards the abdomen
  • lying down and getting up again repeatedly
  • rolling
  • laying in an abnormal position
  • distended abdomen

Do’s and don’ts:

  • Don’t stand beside the horse for safety reasons, stand in front of the horse.
  • Do check your horse's heartrate (28-40/minute) and gums (should be salmon pink), then call your vet immediately.
  • Do prepare some buckets of water for the vet and check your horse's heartrate and gums every 15-30 minutes.
  • Don’t let your horse eat.
  • Do check if there have been any fresh faeces and keep count of new droppings.
  • Do pay attention to whether your horse is passing gas (flatulence).
  • Do walk your horse in a safe space, but don’t force or exhaust your horse, just 10 minutes at a time to keep him from going down and rolling. If it’s not possible to lead your horse safely, then let your horse roam free in a safe space (mind fences!).
  • In case of an oesophagus obstruction: do apply light massage of the affected area if possible.


Our vets are always ready to attend to your horse's wounds, whether this be an acute situation, or an older wound. They can assess the wound and set you up with the best treatment or advice. With a wide variety of products and a wide variety of clients, we are well equipped to tailor our treatment plan to your goals and circumstance.


If your horse is showing signs of laminitis, this is an emergency situation. Please call your vet asap.

Possible signs:

  • unwilling to walk
  • rocked back stance
  • sweating
  • Flehmen (upper lip pulled up)
  • excessive yawning
  • increased digital pulses
  • feet warmer than usual
  • doesn’t want to pick up either (front) foot
  • increased heart rate (normal 28-40/minute)

Do’s and don’ts:

  • Don’t move your horse!
  • If your horse is laying down, don’t make it stand up.
  • Don’t let your horse eat (no grass either) but bring it water.

Tying up

If your horse is tying up, call your vet.

Possible signs:

  • sweating
  • abnormal posture
  • Flehmen (upper lip pulled up)
  • stiff gait or posture
  • tremors
  • abnormal walk
  • not wanting to move
  • (sudden extreme bouts of) restlessness / nervousness
  • pawing
  • lying down
  • poor performance
  • urinating orange or red urine

Please note that there are different degrees of tying up, so it can show differently. It might happen during exercise (suddenly your horse doesn’t want to go as much or at all anymore), it can happen just after exercise or it can happen insidiously. If you are not sure whether your horse is tying up, please contact us so we can help you out.

Do’s and don’ts:

  • Do keep your horse warm enough (rug if necessary, protect from cold draft or wind).
  • Don’t feed your horse but bring it water.

Eye problems

The eye is a very sensitive structure. The cornea is very thin and can deteriorate quite quickly if not treated properly and promptly if damaged. If your horse is experiencing a bout of uveitis, this can have lasting effects on eyesight. If your horse has any issues with its eye(s), please call us immediately.

Possible signs:

  • swollen eyelids
  • excessive tear flow
  • closed eye
  • colouration of the cornea

Keep in mind that if issues evolve both eyes, it can be harder to notice subtle changes because there’s no comparison to a normal eye.


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